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Solar Power

Solar Power, in its simplest term, is the generation of electricity from sunlight. It is one of the highest regarded renewable energies and millions of pounds of research goes into developing solar power.

In the last few years we’ve seen large solar power plants emerge across Europe and America, but despite this solar energy only provided 0.2 per cent of total yearly global energy consumption in 2008.

Because solar radiation is intermittent, when solar power is installed into a home it is combined with storage or another energy source to provide constant power. And it’s historically high installation prices that have deterred many people from opting for solar power in the past. But with the government desperate to lower the carbon footprint and encourage homeowners to choose renewable energy systems to their home, the cost isn’t what it used to be.

Types of Solar Power

There are two different type of solar power: Direct solar power using photovoltaics and indirect CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) where the sun’s energy is used to boil water which is then used to provide energy.

Solar photovoltaic systems work by converting light into electrical power. This is achieved using a thin layer of semi-conducting material, most commonly silicon, enclosed in a glass or plastic casing. These cells can range in size with small versions used on lights and calculators to a system of hundreds of square metres of panels linked up to make an array to power large buildings.

When exposed to sunlight the semi-conducting material causes electrons in the materials’ atoms to be knocked loose. The electrons that are knocked loose then flow through the material to produce an electric current known as a direct current (DC). The direct current is carried through wiring to an inverter which converts the current to alternating current (AC) so it can be connected to your property’s main electricity distribution board. This wiring, in most cases, can easily be fed through existing cable routes in your home.

Solar PV power generators are also available as a back-up to your current electricity source.

Concentrating solar power systems use lenses or mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect the solar energy and convert it into heat. A steam turbine or heat engine driving a generator then turns this thermal energy into useable electricity.

Solar Power on a larger scale

Commercial solar power plants (CSP) have become more widespread since early development in the 1980’s. CSP systems including the SEGS project in the US and the 11MW PW10 power tower in Spain are just two examples with the latter, completed in 2005, being Europe’s first commercial CSP system.

There are also photovoltaic power plants with the biggest emerging primarily in Spain and Germany in the last three years. The Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park in Spain is the largest in current existence.

Solar Power for the home

You might not know it but the house you live in probably already uses solar power. A lot of homes use the sun to heat water pipes – thin water pipes are painted black and covered in an insulator to heat the water supply and therefore reduce the cost of having to use electricity to heat it.

And with solar power technology now reportedly 90 per cent cheaper than it was in the 1970’s, solar is becoming a real cost-saving option for home owners. However, the UK is behind many other countries on the home-installation front – this is mainly due to the UK not receiving as much peak hour sunlight.

There are numerous certified installers across the country who can give you a quote on the cost of having solar power and solar water heating systems fitted.

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Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

12 Feb

Cranbrook (TN18)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof facing E/S. Pitched and wooden tiles. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions. Replace within 6 months. Contact anytime.

11 Feb

Huntingdon (PE26)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. South facing roof, pitched and tiled. No shading and no windows. Work timescale ASAP. Call anytime.

11 Feb

Clynderwen (SA66)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: South facing. Pitched and tiled . No shading . No windows on roof. Install ASAP. Contact anytime.

11 Feb

Liverpool (L4)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: South facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading . No windows on roof. Not sure on size . Install within 3 month. Contact daytime .

11 Feb

Luton (LU1)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof south facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading . No windows on roof. Open to advice of system size. Install within 6 months. Contact: working hours

11 Feb

Isle of Skye (IV47)

New Solar PV Installation

New build house, require solar panels as part of Building Warrant. Solar PV.Wanting panels on the ground. No shading Looking a 4 panels . Install within 1(...)

10 Feb

London (SE9)

New Solar PV Installation

4 bed terrace. Roof: Not sure of direction. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month

10 Feb

Luton (LU4)

New Solar PV Installation

South facing room. Pitched & tiled. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestion regarding system size. Install ASAP. Contact anytime.

10 Feb

Ruislip (HA4)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: North. Pitched, tiled and slate. No shading. No windows on roof. Open to options re: system. Install ASAP. Contact anytime

10 Feb

Carmarthen (SA33)

New Solar PV Installation

South facing room . Pitched and slate. 2 Chimneys. no windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Install within 1 year. Contact anytime.

10 Feb

Bromley (BR2)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Customer is looking for Solar thermal system maintenance, the system is approx 1 year old. Service: asap Contact: anytime.

10 Feb

Peterborough (PE1)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Solar thermal hot water maintenance. Hot water is not working. System is approx 8 years old. Repair: asap Contact: anytime

09 Feb

Tonbridge (TN9)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Need a refit of system due to cowboys.

09 Feb

Leicester (LE5)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof facing south west. Pitched roof, tiles. No shading. 1 window. 4.5 kw system required. Replace within 1 month. Contact anytime.

08 Feb

Woking (GU22)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Hi I have been given a quote for some works on solar panels and would like to get a comparison quote. Please note I am not sure if they are for hot water or(...)

07 Feb

Bridgwater (TA6)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Hi I have a solar thermal tube system - it's been installed for 3-4 years and requires servicing and performance checking. Thanks

07 Feb

Birmingham (B29)

New Solar PV Installation

solar panels

07 Feb

LOCHGILPHEAD (PA31)

New Solar PV Installation

this is a new build in Tayvialich and we require 4 X PV electric panels to gain our SAP result. please quote for supply and fit.

07 Feb

Ambleside (LA22)

New Solar PV Installation

Installation of domestic solar panels and associated wiring and equipment. Advise on solar thermal heating will be a secondary priority this year, also.

05 Feb

Prestonpans (EH32)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof direction not known. Chimney & 1 window. Open to suggestions regarding the system size. 8 X panels. Replace within 3 months. Contact after 1pm - before 8pm

05 Feb

London (E14)

New Solar PV Installation

50 Kw Total PV installation on two buildings including two G59 connections

05 Feb

Derby (DE65)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Unsure on the direction of the roof, pitched, corrugated roof. No shading and a few windows. Work timescale within 1 year. Call anytime.

04 Feb

Bolton (BL2)

New Solar PV Installation

South & North Facing roof. Pitched and tiled. No shading. 2 x velox windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Replace within 1 year. Contact anytime.

04 Feb

Ashford (TN25)

New Solar PV Installation

Current PV system in place to install gadget off consumer unit. Contact anytime. Timescale ASAP.

04 Feb

Epsom (KT17)

New Solar PV Installation

Remove extg PV and install new PVs to existing slate roof

04 Feb

Bradford (BD13)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

removal of four panels and replace when repair to roof is finished scaffold will be all ready be erected

03 Feb

Peebles (EH45)

New Solar PV Installation

New build solar PV and other energy systems

03 Feb

Scunthorpe (DN17)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: L Shaped Roof facing south. Pitched and tiled. No shading. Timescale within 1 month. Contact anytime.

01 Feb

Southampton (SO40)

New Solar Thermal Installation

I require a general quote for the cost of materials and installation for hot water solar PV system.

01 Feb

Warwick (CV35)

New Solar PV Installation

Sports club. We have many lights and also water to heat during day. Large flat roof facing South South East.