Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run your household appliances and lighting.
The benefits of solar electricity include cutting your electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced. Get paid for the electricity you generate. The UK government’s Feed-in Tariffs pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it. Sell electricity back to the grid. If your system is producing more electricity than you need, you can sell the surplus back to the grid. Cut your carbon footprint. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.
Solar Panels (PV) cells work by PV cells which are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp), your KWp is worked out from multiplying the wattage of a solar panel system by the number of solar panels used in the installation. That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes.