• Solar Energy

Solar energy is plentiful and essential for life here on earth. The sun is 1 million times bigger than planet earth and by far the biggest source of energy available to us today. In fact, if the human race used only solar energy for all its energy needs (assuming 100% absorption of solar radiation) it would only take 88 minutes of solar radiation to meet our total energy requirements for a whole year!

Solar energy is renewable and clean and there are a number of ways we can harness it for use in our homes and buildings, naturally maximising the solar gain or generating our own energy using solar thermal or photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Solar Panels

Solar PV panels convert light into electricity due to the photovoltaic effect. This is when sunlight (photons) causes the electrons within a certain material to move, generating an electric field to be harnessed. The energy from the solar radiation is carried by the photons and transferred to the electrons within a silicon material, it is this input of energy to the electrons which causes them to become excited. The excitation causes the electrons to break free from their parent material and travel between positive (p) and negative (n) semi-conductive zones within the PV cell. It is the movement of the electrons between the p-n zones which generates an electric current to then be harnessed.

Solar Panels can also be used for heating and hot water, where instead of an electrical process happening due to a process caused by sunlight, the panels directly absorb the heat omitted by the sun transferring it through a heat exchanger to the thermal store – most commonly an accumulator tank.

Alternatively, the electricity provided by solar PV can be used to supply en electric immersion heater within a hot water accumulator tank.

Solar Thermal Hot Water Heating

Solar energy is an unlimited resource that is free from harmful emissions and waste. Solar collectors on the roof of a building harness the sun’s rays to heat water which is then stored in a well insulated cylinder ready to be used for hot water. Solar thermal systems can be installed both onto a roof or integrated into a roof on homes, commercial properties, new or existing buildings. Once installed, solar thermal systems have virtually no running costs and as well and provide financial savings that can cut your carbon footprint.

Types of Solar Thermal Systems

Solar Thermal Collectors can be flat plate or evacuated tube with the total area dependent on the property’s hot water needs, roof aspect and property location. It is not just south facing roofs that can be utilised; considerable gain can be made from both east and west facing roofs. The mounting systems in which the panels attach to the ground or to a roof, are designed to provide ease of installation and security of the panels.

Benefits of Solar Thermal Technology
  • Reduced energy bills
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Virtually no running costs
  • Little to no maintenance required

RENEWABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

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