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Solar Panels

Solar panels have been around for sixty years and, with development ever increasing on the functionality of them, are seen as one of the future sources of alternative energy for businesses and households.

They are an active solar power meaning they harvest sunlight and actively convert it into energy. The panels are made up of solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, arranged in grid-like patterns which collect sunlight during the daytime and convert it into electricity or heat water.

What are solar panels made from?

Solar panels are traditionally made from crystalline silicon and gallium arsenide which is produced only for photovoltaic cells. However, there are now also types of panel made by depositing amorphous silicon alloy in a continuous roll-to-roll process. As a result, amorphous silicon solar cells are created which can be used in panels that are more durable, efficient and thinner than crystalline versions.

Solar water heating panels, also known as collectors, are made up of either evacuated glass tubes or flat plate collectors encasing metal tubing. These panels look very different to photovoltaic panels and can provide your household with the majority of its annual hot water requirements.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels collect solar radiation from the sun and converts that energy into electricity. The solar cells within the panel function in a similar way to that of semiconductors – they utilize a large-area p-n junction diode. When the cells are exposed to sunlight the p-n junction diodes convert the energy from sunlight into usable energy.

The energy generated from photons hitting the surface of the solar panel knock electrons out of their orbit and releases them. The electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current to the metal contacts in the solar cell which can generate electricity. So the more high quality solar cells in a panel, the more electrical output the solar panel can produce.

How much power do solar panels produce?

The efficiency of a solar panel, and the resulting energy it produces, is dependent on many climate, geographic and weather-related factors. Arid climates are ideal for solar panels, and they will produce more energy when exposed to direct sunlight in clear skies. But the power a solar panel can achieve and the power it delivers are two very different matters.

There are ways of working out how much power a solar panel could produce. If a panel is rated at, for example, 180W it will perform up to that level in the brightest sun light which would generate 1,000 watts per square metre. However, unless you live directly on the equator, your solar panel is not going to be subject to that much sunlight. The easiest way to work it out is finding out the number of ‘peak sun hours’ your location receives each day with a peak sun hour being one hour of 1,000 watts per square metre of sunlight. Once you’ve found this out you can multiply the watt rating of the solar panel by the number of peak sun hours of your location. Be aware that sun hours will vary by season with the lowest being in the winter.

What are the advantages of solar panels?

The primary advantage of solar panels is that they are a renewable energy source so there is no danger of depleting the reserves. It’s also non-polluting and causes no harm to the atmosphere. But what consumers will benefit from directly is the fact it’s a free energy source. And solar cells require very little maintenance as they are non-moving parts and can last a lifetime.

What are the disadvantages of solar panels?

Solar panels aren’t a cheap technology to purchase and have installers fit. But the savings incurred by having one implemented into your home will cover the cost of the collectors and fitting over time. And government grants are available to encourage you to fit renewable energy sources for your home.

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Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

25 Aug

Leicester (LE3)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

Kilmarnock (KA3)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

London (E11)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

York (YO62)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

4 bed semi. Put in 7yrs ago by everest and they have stopped doing them. Wants maintenance - wants to be reasured that all is working well. Just has 2 pannels.(...)

25 Aug

Kidderminster (DY10)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof Faces South Pitched and tiled. No shading. Timescale within 3 months. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Buntingford (SG9)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

24 Aug

Bicester (OX26)

New Solar PV Installation

Call after 5pm. 4 bed detached. Roof: All directions. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading - bar 1 tree. Call anytime. Install within 3 month

24 Aug

Exeter (EX6)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof Faces South East. Pitched and tiled. No Shading. Timescale within 1 month. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Buckie (AB56)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

I had solar panels installed in December and the " i Boost System " never worked . I had the company return and they took it away . They never came back with a(...)

24 Aug

London (E5)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof faces west East. ·····ed and tiled. No Shading. Timescale ASAP. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Winchester (SO22)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Just not working

24 Aug

Fakenham (NR219PH)

New Solar PV Installation

PV panels on pitched roof to new House to be constructed Preferred panel type to fit flush with external surface of roof tiles

24 Aug

WELLINGTON (TA21)

New Solar PV Installation

South facing. Pitched & tiled. No shading. 1 window. Open to suggestions re: system size. Install ASAP. Contact anytime.

23 Aug

Chesterfield (S42)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Fault on system

23 Aug

Hounslow (TW4)

New Solar PV Installation

S/E. Flat roof, rubber membrane. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Replace within 1 month. Contact anytime.( best available(...)

23 Aug

Halkirk (KW12)

New Solar PV Installation

To install solar panels to a building to cover business electric use over 2 buildings.

23 Aug

Milton Keynes (MK4)

New Solar PV Installation

4 bed detached. Roof: Has been told suitable for a 6kwh system! West facing. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month

22 Aug

Ross-on-Wye (HR9)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Leeds (LS10)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Barnsley (S70)

New Solar PV Installation

North/East & West facing. Pitched & slate. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Install within 1 month. Contact anytime.

22 Aug

Llandovery (SA20)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Port Talbot (SA12)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Fochabers (IV32)

New Solar PV Installation

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22 Aug

Northampton (NN3)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Hayle (TR27)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Buckie (AB56)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Bewdley (DY12)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Leicester (LE3)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed semi. Roof: East West. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install 3 months

21 Aug

Stourbridge (DY9)

New Solar PV Installation

14 solar panels to front or 7 on front and 7 on back

21 Aug

Staines-upon-Thames (TW18)

New Solar PV Installation

Electric solar installation