What is Solar Energy?
Solar thermal and photovoltaic power
Solar energy systems capture and convert the sun’s energy to generate electricity for households and businesses. Solar panels work using UV (ultra violet) light, so they can still generate some electricity on cloudy and overcast days.
Solar panels will cut your electricity bills with a direct supply. A domestic installation will often directly connect a couple of panels to the second coil in a twin coil domestic hot water cylinder. Typically, solar energy can provide 60% of a home's domestic hot water requirements in one year. Rising to up to 100% during the summer months.
Solar electricity is completely renewable and cuts your carbon footprint with no harmful gases or pollutants being released. The Energy Saving Trust figures show Solar PV systems can save around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of carbon each year.
How does it work
Solar Photovoltaic Panels – PV:
Solar PV panels are commonly installed and capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells, made from a semi-conducting material. Groups of cells are mounted into panels or tiles which can be ground based or roof mounted to capture the sun’s rays.
The number of panels is scaled up to accommodate your energy requirements, subject to planning approval and grid capacity.
Solar Thermal systems
Commonly used for heating water, swimming pools and heat ventilation, Solar Thermal systems typically use unglazed flat plates, mirrors or lenses for solar energy collection.
Often mounted on a pitched roof, they can also be flat roof and ground mounted too. Solar thermal systems can be scaled up to suit the application, from small domestic properties to large commercial applications.
Who uses Solar power?
- Swimming pools, leisure centres
- Hotels and hostels
- Care homes
- Hospitals and hospices
- Properties needing constant hot water supplies
- Residential housing
- Private swimming pools
- Remote rural properties
- Properties with low level insulation