Quick Guide to How Solar Power Works in the UK

Solar power is an increasingly popular option for homeowners in the UK. Solar is one alternative form of generating electric power that cuts your reliance on fossil fuels, lowering your carbon emissions. Solar panels represent increasing value for consumers as the price of the technology is coming down. If you are looking into solar options for your home, here are a few things you need to know.

Different Forms of Solar Power

Solar energy encompasses a range of technologies that can be used in the average home. For example, you can install solar panels that work to heat water in your house. In many cases you can set up these systems to provide 100 percent of your hot water, or use the system as a back-up for reducing the costs of heating water. Or you can use solar power to provide electricity for the home – this is the most commonly recognised means of using solar power in the home. In addition, solar is used industrially for high-power operations where generous amounts of heat and light are required.

Solar Panels in the Home

Solar energy for electric power in the home is commonly referred to as solar PV energy or solar photovoltaic energy. Solar panels are installed on the roof of the house and the sunlight that reaches the panels is converted into electricity. The electricity produced in this way is stored in batteries, fed directly into the home system for lighting and appliances, or sent direct to the national grid.

Generating Power from the Sun

Photovoltaic cells convert solar energy into electrical power through the process known as the photovoltaic effect. Solar panel cells are made from semi-conducting material like silicon. When the sun´s rays hit the silicon there are photons absorbed into the surface of the material. These transfer energy which creates an electrical current across the surface of the silicon. An electrical current is the basis of the power needed to use in the home. A set of cells are connected in order to generate enough power to be of use – these multiple cells are linked together to form a power system and this system generates electricity.

How to Buy Solar Panels

Solar panel systems need to be installed by a professional. A variety of systems are designed to meet the needs of different homes and different energy uses. By comparing solar panel system prices with a tool like you can get a good idea of how much you will be paying. Different suppliers charge different amounts, even for the same type of system, so it is a good idea to shop around and look for a competitive price. Similarly, comparing prices is a good way to find out more about the qualities and benefits of different suppliers so you can make the right choice for your needs.