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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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Find local, MSC certified Solar Installers

Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

25 Sep

Abergavenny (NP7)

New Solar Thermal Installation

We about to build an extension and want to install solar thermal and underfloor heating. Also considering solar PV too.

24 Sep

New Malden (KT3)

New Solar PV Installation

New installation over one side of roof. Inverter in loft space. Possible coordination with roof renewal.

23 Sep

Swansea (SA3)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: South. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows on the roof. Open to suggestions on size system. Replace within 1 month. Contact anytime.

23 Sep

York (YO24)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof is South facing. Pitched & tiled. No shading. no windows. Open to suggestion regarding system size. Install within 1 month. Contact anytime.

23 Sep

London (N18)

New Solar PV Installation

owned2

23 Sep

London (N18)

New Solar PV Installation

22 Sep

Margate (CT9)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: Call anytime. Install

22 Sep

Belfast (BT14)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. South facing roof, pitched and tiled. No shading and no windows. Size system - open to advice. Work timescale ASAP. Contact anytime.

22 Sep

Warlingham (CR6)

New Solar PV Installation

Price for 6 panels and a price for 10 panels It is a new self build in the Forrest if you could give us a price that would be great

22 Sep

Shrewsbury (SY3)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: South West. No shading. Advice on size of system. Timescale 1 month. Contact anytime.

22 Sep

Tonypandy (CF40)

New Solar Thermal Installation

Solar Thermal to Run U/F Heating /Hot Water in Winter and Hot Water in Summer. Combi Boiler In House only 3 years old

22 Sep

Broxburn (EH52)

New Solar PV Installation

I have a 4 bedroom house and would like to see if solar panels would be efficient on my property.

21 Sep

Haverfordwest (SA62)

New Solar PV Installation

Supply and fit of a solar pv installation. Roof isS/W facing. Pitched & slate. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Property is(...)

21 Sep

Newcastle upon Tyne (NE6)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. South facing roof, pitched and slate tiled. No shading and has one window. Size system - open to advise. Work timescale within 3 months. Contact(...)

21 Sep

Ely (CB6)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

You installed our solar panels on 23rd June 2011 and they continue to work satisfactorily. We have been told that we can increase the output of our solar panels(...)

20 Sep

Cleethorpes (DN35)

New Solar PV Installation

solar panels electricity

20 Sep

Leeds (LS25)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Remove existing solar pv and thermal and replace after roof repairs. Scaffold provided by roofing contractor

20 Sep

Sheffield (S6)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: South East facing. Pitched & Tiled. Dormer Window potentially shading. Contact anytime.

19 Sep

Preston (PR2)

New Solar PV Installation

Supply and fit of a new Solar pv installation. Roof is sw/se facing. Pitched & slate. No shading. 2 velox windows on rear facing roof. Open to suggestions(...)

19 Sep

Birmingham (B42)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Unsure which Roof faces Pitched & tiled. No shading, Timescale within 1 month. Contact anytime.

19 Sep

Stafford (ST19)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Circulating pump need replacing. Otherwise in good order. Details of present pump are available.

19 Sep

Merthyr Tydfil (CF48)

New Solar PV Installation

Supply and fit of Solar PV with battery. Roof facing s/e. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows. 4kw system required. Install within 1 month. Contact(...)

19 Sep

Hexham (NE48)

New Solar PV Installation

roof installation to s-facing roof

19 Sep

Hounslow (TW4)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Unsure on the direction of the roof, pitched and tiled. No shading and no windows. Size system - open to advise. Work timescale within 5 months.(...)

18 Sep

Oswestry (SY11)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

16 panels installed on the roof already. Customer requires a quote to fit a new inverter to optimize the use of the 16 panels. Upgrade: within 3 months (...)

17 Sep

Grays (RM16)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed linked detached. Roof: not sure on direction. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 year

16 Sep

Ipswich (IP1)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

I have an existing thermal solar system which has overheated. I have been advised that the panels and pumping station need to be replaced. Interested to see if(...)

16 Sep

Gravesend (DA12)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Repair of a solar pv system.

16 Sep

Londonderry (BT47)

New Solar PV Installation

S/E facing roof. Pitched and congregated tin. Some shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Install ASAP. Contact anytime. **Solar(...)

16 Sep

Ammanford (SA18)

New Solar PV Installation

2 bed end terrace. Roof: South. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 3 month