Solar energy has played a huge part in cutting down on the use of fossil fuels across domestic households, as well as bringing more sustainable living more and more into the mainstream. Thanks to the efficiency of solar panels and the easy installation process, many people across the UK can enjoy the benefits of generating greener electricity.
Yet it is not just householders who enjoy the advantages of their community moving more towards a more sustainable way of generating electricity. Businesses, too, are discovering benefits to switching to solar panels for lighting, heating and powering their buildings. Enterprises that use a lot of energy, such as manufacturing businesses, are particularly in line to benefit from this innovative approach to sourcing the electricity they need.
Not only when it comes to the practical concerns around powering machinery, lighting workshops and keeping employees safe and comfortable at work, but also when they are considering their reputation as a progressive, ecologically sound and ethical company. Here’s why…
Related Reading: The Benefits Of Solar Panels To Your Household
Preserving fossil fuels
This is the biggie – the more energy that can be harvested from renewable sources such as the sun, water and wind, the fewer finite fossil fuels will be burned in order to meet the global demand for electricity. This helps preserve these valuable natural resources for future generations and raise public trust in alternative energy sources. On a day-to-day basis, solar power can help manufacturing businesses operate as normal and enjoy lower energy bills, but it can also help them to fulfil their obligations towards greener ways of working and responsible use of the planet’s finite resources.
Reducing carbon footprints
Hand in hand with preserving fossil fuels comes reducing the carbon footprint put out by labour-intensive businesses like manufacturing companies. The more commercial buildings and facilities that are powered by solar power and other renewable sources, the less of an impact that the company’s daily electricity use and individual carbon footprint will have on the general state of the planet. Installing solar panels is a highly effective way for a business to be seen to play its part in that.
Alternative energy is a growing sector, which brings with it new business openings, opportunities and jobs. From advisers to installers; insurers to engineers, solar energy is a growing sector that requires new expertise and skills to maintain and push it forward. For the manufacturing businesses themselves, it can be seen as a great way to attract ecologically minded employees who are keen to work with a greener company and who will display greater enthusiasm and loyalty to an employer who is clearly taking the issue seriously.
Supporting electric vehicles
As technology advances in the world of sustainable energy and solar power, so the electricity generated can help support other areas of progress and innovation. Electric vehicles are also growing in popularity and households will move more and more towards being able to recharge their cars at or close to home using electricity generated by solar power. If a manufacturing company can provide charging ports in its car parks or on its premises for employee or paying public use, this could be an excellent additional business opportunity for firms able to spread some sustainable love.
One oft-quoted concern around solar panels is how they will look when set against an existing landscape, especially in more secluded settings. The clash of traditional and ultra-modern is one that needs careful handling to avoid creating eyesores in the community and turning public goodwill against a manufacturing business. The good news is that solar panels are designed with this exact concern in mind, and a focus on making them unobtrusive, subtle and ascetically acceptable – or even pleasing to the eye when designed with care.
Installing solar panels has become a popular way to switch to a more sustainable way of living and to help lower household electricity bills. The technology works by harnessing energy from the sun’s rays and converting it into electricity via a series of photovoltaic cells. This electricity can then either be used straight away or stored for future use at night or during duller weather when the sun is not producing quite so much solar energy.
Besides the advantage of switching to a more ecologically friendly method of energy production, what other benefits can accompany the installation of a solar panel system for your household?
Related Reading: The Benefits Of Solar Panels For Manufacturing Businesses
Once the installation has been completed, householders can enjoy seeing a reduction in their energy bills pretty much straight away. As more of the electricity generated by the photovoltaic panels is used, so the amount taken from the National Grid lessens, reducing energy bills and lowering overall household outgoings. Maintenance is simple to carry out once the system is in place, with many firms including routine servicing in the overall installation price.
Greater access to your own electricity, generated using the solar energy that hits your solar panel system, means a much reduced reliance on the National Grid to power your home. Less reliance means that you are no longer quite so dependent on the National Grid remaining in working order, less affected by blackouts through overuse or human error, and not quite so much at the mercy of electricity company price increases when they occur.
Solar power comes from the sun, which makes it one of the most easily accessible forms of renewable energy there is. Even when it is cloudier, the solar panels can still pick up energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. When the sun is too weak, or it is dark, the system stores excess electricity for future use, plus a dual approach that sees the household still connected to the National Grid for emergencies means that there is no interruption in electricity provision.
Young people learn much by observing the world around them, and living in a household that uses solar energy to power, light and heat the home can lead to lifelong sustainable habits that can help them enjoy the same benefits when they grow up and branch off into their own household further down the line. It can also help inform school projects on ecological lifestyles and alternative energy, as pupils can observe sustainable energy in action, right on their very own roof.
As electricity travels towards a household, it loses some of its energy along the way. The further away it must travel, the more power is lost. While the losses can be considered negligible in themselves, they can have a more serious impact on areas with a higher population density. Being able to generate the electricity you require on site means that it doesn’t have to travel to you, and you can benefit from its entire energy quota.
If your household is interested in learning more about solar power, speak to an expert like UPS Solar to find out what’s involved and the different solar panel options available to you.
Solar power technology is moving on apace, as the world continues to seek more sustainable methods of energy generation in order to protect finite fossil fuels. Solar panels have been around for many years now, with their efficacy, aesthetics and ease of installation advancing more and more as time goes by.
One innovative version of the technology is the introduction of solar panel roof tiles. These small photovoltaic panels are shaped to look like normal roof tiles while absorbing sunlight to convert it into electricity in the same way that standard solar panels do. They are the perfect solution for people who appreciate the idea of generating their own electricity via photovoltaic solar power but don’t like how the larger panels look on their building.
How efficient are solar roof tiles?
The best solar roof tiles are those that offer excellent efficiency to offer strong returns on their initial cost outlay.
There are three main types of solar panel roof tiles, all of which offer good efficiency.
On-roof installations are exactly what the name suggests – the tiles are fitted to a frame that is fixed to the top of the roof.
In-roof, or integrated solar panel roof tiles
In-roof, or integrated solar panel roof tiles, replace some of the roof’s existing tiles, so that they sit flush with the structure of the roof and are less visible from the street.
Total overhaul your roof
Finally, you can opt for a total overhaul of your roof with an entirely new solar roof replacing your old one for maximum efficiency and coverage.
How Many Solar Tiles You Require?
How many tiles you require and how large space they will take up will depend entirely on how much power you need them to generate for you on a regular basis. Solar power, in general, has been proven to be an efficient form of alternative power generation, especially given that any surplus electricity that is produced during sunnier periods can be stored for future use when conditions are less conducive to efficient energy conversion, such as during poor weather or at night.
How much does a solar roof tile cost?
While the concept is still in its infancy there are a number of solar roof tiles manufacturers in the UK and elsewhere selling variants of the new technology to suits householders and business owners alike. Costs vary depending on the size of the roof in question type of tiles chosen and complexity of the installation. Additional features, such as tempered glass, invisible solar cells and bespoke designs will increase costs, however reputable companies offer a lifetime’s manufacturer’s guarantee and instructions on how to maintain your new solar roof tiles to help reduce unexpected costs further down the line.
There may also be grants for solar roof tiles available in selected areas of the country – information about this can be found on the internet for those interested in finding out more. The main consideration with this type of technology is that they cannot be integrated into an existing roof set-up without carrying out some structural changes to the existing tiles. The tiles are best suited for new build projects, or as a roof replacement or upgrade instead. Speak to a solar panel expert for further information and advice on solar tiles.
In an age where everyone is far more aware of the finite nature of the planet’s fossil fuels and the growing benefits of using more sustainable energy production methods, technology such as solar power is rising more and more to the forefront of people’s minds. There has been much talk about the efficiency of solar panel systems, which are designed to absorb energy from the sun’s rays and convert it into electricity for domestic or commercial premises. The prospect of choosing, installing and maintaining such a system can seem daunting at first; however, the investment in time and money will repay itself many times over during the course of its working life.
So, how does a solar panel work? It consists of row upon row of photovoltaic cells, which are the elements that change the solar energy into electricity. They do this by allowing light particles or photons, or photons, to nudge electrons from atoms, thus creating an electricity flow. This electricity is then transferred to the building’s power network and used to power heating, lighting etc. Another benefit of the system is that any electricity that is not used straight away can be stored for use when solar energy is less evident or absent, such as during dull weather or at night.
What is the most efficient solar panel?
When considering which type of sustainable energy solution to buy, it is worth carrying out plenty of research. For example, there is a wealth of information available online around efficiency measures, including solar panel efficiency formula and solar panel efficiency calculator applications that allow you to work out how much money you can save over the longer term.
From a technical point of view, there are three main types of solar panels currently available on the market. They type you select will depend on what your individual set-up is and what your expectation is for your preferred system.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most established type and the oldest form of this technology. They are made from pure silicone with a solid crystal shell around it called an ingot. Each ingot is thinly sliced and shaped into the individual cells which line up together to form a solar panel. Due to the way that the silicon interacts with sunlight, these panels appear pure black. They can achieve efficiency rates of more than 20 per cent.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline are also constructed from silicon crystals, but the separate cells are made from fragments that are melted together and created without the ingot covering. They appear blue when installed and are less costly to install than their monocrystalline alternatives. Their efficiency is slightly lower than monocrystalline versions, coming in at around 15 to 17 per cent, thus producing slightly less power.
Thin-Film Solar Panels
Finally, there is the thin-film variant, which is the newest arrival on the scene. These panels are not always made from silicon; they can also be formed from other materials, such as cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium. The chosen material is then placed between thin, conductive sheets and topped with glass for maximum protection. This type offers around 11 per cent efficiency, but allows greater
versatility when it comes to fitting the panels, as they don’t come in a standard size. It is also worth noting that some models can produce more power than others.
Are newer solar panels more efficient?
Despite the figures quoted in the paragraph above that indicate the best solar panel efficiency over time comes from the monocrystalline version, it is still worth keeping an eye on the newer materials too, as progress is being made all the time when it comes to improving efficiency, resilience and performance. It is also important to consider other factors, such as cost, aesthetics, ease of installation and longer-term expectations from the system. With so many aspects to consider, it is certainly worth speaking to a solar panel efficiency expert to ensure that you make the right choice for your property.