Solar panels are fairly expensive to install but properly installed in the right place they can save you a lot of money on your electricity bills and at the same time will help preserve the environment. Solar energy uses the power of the sun to generate electricity and is an eco friendly way of producing electricity, much encouraged by The Green Energy Program. It helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. It also helps in controlling the carbon footprint which is one of the causes of climatic changes due to global warming.
Oil and fossil fuel reserves are steadily being depleting around the world, the use of green energy helps in reducing our dependency on these non-renewable fuels. The UK government has proposed a plan for the reduction of carbon emission generated by the UK. The reductions proposed are; 34% by 2020 and 15% of the country’s electricity produced by green energy.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells which generate electricity through sunlight. This electricity is then fed to the main electric supply of your home. Though the sun is not a constant commodity in the UK, it is still possible to produce solar energy contrary to popular belief.
|System Size||Amount of Roof Space Needed||Year 1 Benefit||Energy Output (kW per hour)||Feed in Tariff|
|1.9kW||11 sq m||£365||1784 kW p/a||£0.15 per kW|
|2.45kW||14 sq m||£456||2230 kW p/a||£0.15 per kW|
|3.43kW||19 sq m||£640||3121 kW p/a||£0.15 per kW|
|3.92kW||22 sq m||£731||3567 kW p/a||£0.15 per kW|
The Green Energy Campaign produces detailed information on the use of solar panels which need to be considered. First and foremost is your residence. If you live in a rented house, you cannot install solar panels without the permission of the landlord. If you live in an apartment which is close to the basement you also cannot install solar panels. The best place to put solar panels is on the roof, ideally facing south. If your roof is heavily shaded, the solar panels will only a limited effect. There are different sized panels for different roof sizes. The larger your roof the more space you will have to install the larger panels and consequently more energy can be produced.
You will also have to make sure the regulations in your area allow you to install solar panels. The company providing the solar panels should be able to advise you. If you live in a listed building or in a conservation area you will have to check with the local council planning officer if you are allowed to install solar panels.Solar panels do not have to be switched on and off and you do not have to worry about the sufficiency of electricity that is produced. If the solar panels do not produce sufficient electricity to run the household the fall short will be supplied from the national grid.
Manufacturers claim that solar panels last for 25 years, the converter, which converts the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), needs to be replaced every 12 to 15 years.
Purchasing solar panels can be an expensive business but there is a scheme run by the government called the Feed-in Tariff Policy to provide free solar panels if your roof area is about 19 m2. Panels are installed free by suppliers who receive the money from the government. The scheme also pays you if the amount of electricity generated by the solar panels is more than required. The surplus is fed into the national grid for which you are compensated.
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