Here is a brief FAQ on solar panels.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner.
How do solar photovoltaic cells work?
Photovoltaic cells are comprised of a semiconductor material such as silicon. Added to the silicon are the elements phosphorous and boron which create conductivity within the cell and activate the movement of electrons. The electrons move across the cell when activated by the sunlight’s energy into the electrical circuit hooked up to the solar panel.
How much does a solar electric power system cost?
A 2kW solar electric system will cost approximately £6-13k (plus vat). That total includes the cost for all components: solar panels, panel mounts, and inverter, and labour associated with installation. It does not however, reflect all the avoided costs, such as the tax breaks and the credits received through net metering.
What’s the difference between solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems?
These two types of solar systems both capture energy from the sun; solar photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic panels to produce electricity. Solar hot water, or thermal, systems capture sunlight to heat water for domestic use, to heat a swimming pool, or for a radiant heating system.
Can I use solar power to heat my home?
Off course! Transferring solar energy through pipes into an under floor radiant heating system is a wonderful way to stay warm. Radiant floor systems are typically 40 percent more efficient than their forced air counterpart and can be zoned to match thermal comfort to each room.
How much maintenance do solar energy panels require?
Solar photovoltaic panels require little maintenance, there’s no need to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris. Thus you will have to wipe them off if too much snow or leaves fall on them.
How much will I really save on my utility bills from a home electric solar power system?
It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. That said expect to generate excess electricity in the summer which can potentially offset the energy you use from the grid in the winter. A combination of energy efficient appliances and light bulbs can help reduce your homes energy bill by over two-thirds.
How long will it take to install a solar power system in my home?
Planning, configuring, and doing any custom ordering for your solar energy system can
take up to a few weeks. However, the installation process itself can typically be completed
in only a few days.
How do I know if solar panels will work on my home?
Take a look at the position of your home on its lot – and particularly your roof. Ask the following questions:
- Is there good southern exposure? Orienting solar panels to the south maximizes the effectiveness of energy collection.
- Is the exposure free of trees or buildings that could shade the panels or drop debris on them? Shading photovoltaic panels dramatically reduces their effectiveness.
- What is the pitch of your roof? Most roofs, from flat to 60-degrees can accommodate photovoltaic panels.
When should I seek a solar professional?
Asap as they can talk everything through. There are quirks in the process which are well suited to professionals who specialize in solar power installation. Solar installation professionals can help you determine the type and size of system most suited for your needs.